Your “prayers not answered” means your “expectations not fulfilled.” The TAO wisdom explains why: your attachments to careers, money, relationships, and success “make” but also “break” you by creating your flawed ego-self that demands your “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Bedroom "Feng Shui"

Bedroom Feng Shui

Use Chinese feng shui to promote good sleep. Feng shui is based on the principle of harmonizing the invisible but powerful life energy “qi” that not only courses through the human body but also flows throughout the environment.

Literally, feng shui means “wind-water.” Feng shui has been practiced in China for several millennia. Originally, it was used to find the most auspicious burial sides for the dead. For centuries, it has been used to balance the yin (the female) and the yang (the male) in order to create the balance and harmony for health and wellness. Theoretically, anything that interrupts with the free flow of “qi” is considered bad for feng shui. In the same manner, bedroom feng shui plays a pivotal part in promoting natural sleep.

According to the principles of feng shui, the ideal bedroom should have a regular shape (a square or a rectangle), not oblong or circular. The reason is that any irregular shape will interfere with the free flow of life energy. By the same token, too much furniture is not ominous for good feng shui. A computer or any outdoor coats hanging on the back of the bedroom may create irrelevance instead of harmony to the bedroom environment, and thus obstructing “qi.”

Basically, spaced-clearing is critical to good bedroom feng shui.

Look around your bedroom to see if there are objects that do not belong to a bedroom.

Avoid placing a mirrors on the wall, especially not directly opposite the bed, because it will reflect life energy back at you while you sleep.

Make sure your bed is raised above the floor so that there is no interruption of the flow of life energy. Do not place your bed between doors, or between the window and the door.

If the bedroom has two entrances (such as a suite), place a screen between them.

The sun is not ideal for a sleeping surface. Make sure that your bed is not exposed to direct sunlight.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Art of Living Well: No Attachments!


Attachments in Life

We all have attachments in life. Letting go is the readiness and willingness to let go of all attachments in life. The following are some of the most common attachments:

Attachment to the ego-self

Attachment to the ego-self is the most difficult to let go of, given that conventional wisdom focuses so much on “self,” such as the emphasis on the importance of “self-esteem,” that we become not only “self-conscious” but also “self-centered.”

Attachment to material things

The mind identifies with material possessions to create the ego-self. Many of us identify ourselves with a certain social status when we belong to a certain social group or drive a certain luxury car.

Thinking questions

Why am I driving a Mercedes?
Is it really better than a Toyota?

Attachment to time

Many of us think that time is precious, and wish that we had more than 24 hours a day. We no longer have the time to appreciate the beauty of nature, because we have become overwhelmed by our daily problems and the time needed to solve them. Indeed, many of us are forever time-stressed.

Attachment to time means the reluctance to live in the present moment. Unfortunately, the present moment is the only reality in life, and the only moment during which one can objectively validate past thoughts and future projections that continuously filter through the subconscious mind, enticing it to form identities—which become the components of the ego-self.

According to the wisdom of Tao, attachments are the sources of human pain and suffering.

“Fame or self: Which matters more?
Self or wealth: Which is more precious?
Gain or loss: Which is more painful?
He who is attached to things will suffer much.
He who saves will suffer heavy loss.
A contented man is never disappointed.
He who knows when to stop does not find himself in trouble.
He will stay forever safe.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 44)

Attachments to the material world are the sources of human miseries and unhappiness, because they seldom become realities and they generate only desire and control that ultimately create a vicious circle of miseries and unhappiness.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Herbal Healing for Insomnia


Insomnia is a sleep disorder affecting millions of people all over the world.

Sleep is natural to man: we go to bed when we are tired, or when it is bedtime. Unfortunately, many of us have sleep problems: we go to bed, but we cannot fall asleep immediately, and many of us may stay awake for hours; or, worse, some of us rely on sleep medications to put ourselves to sleep.

All sleep medications cannot cure insomnia. They are dangerous toxic chemicals that may further aggravate sleep problems. Stop all sleep medications; instead, use herbal healing for insomnia.

Do not take over-the-counter sleep medications; they do nor provide natural sleep.

But the fact is that many of us are suffering from insomnia or sleep deprivation. According to a Swiss research study, even gold fish, having been deprived of sleep for an extended period of time, would stay still for a protracted period of time to make up for its sleep deprivation. Therefore, natural sleep is natural to all living things, and essential to the overall health and wellness of an individual.

But how do we heal insomnia without toxic pharmaceutical drugs? Use herbal healing for insomnia.

To heal insomnia, first of all, you must understand the kind of insomnia you are suffering from:

If you heave acute insomnia due to shock, fright, or grief, you wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares, accompanied by anxiety and restlessness.

If you generally wake up between 1 am and 3 am with anxious dreams and nightmares, your insomnia may be due to anxiety, or an overactive mind.

If you wake up around 3 or 4 am and cannot go back to sleep again until your usual getting-up time, your insomnia may be due to irritability or overwork.

If you find it difficult to fall asleep and you wake up early feeling groggy and unrefreshed, you may have insomnia due to too much mental stress or heavy workload.

If you wake up at the slightest noise and find it difficult to get back to sleep, often accompanied by vivid nightmares, your insomnia may wake you up in the early hours and make you sleep late.

Sleep problems are only a reflection of the problems inherent in your life. That is, if you are living life to the fullest, you normally do not and should not have sleep problems, which are the byproducts of emotional turmoil and mental anguish. Therefore, you must address all your life problems that are the underlying causes of your insomnia.

Stress is the No. 1 enemy of emotional and mental health. When you are under stress, your body naturally responds to the increased tension by producing hormone epinephrine. Excess production of this hormone may wear out your hormonal glands, leading to elevation of blood sugar, acceleration of breathing rate, increase of muscle tension, and excessive sweating — all contributing to insomnia. In contemporary living, stress may come in many different forms that disturb your good sleep. These stress-inducing problems need to be addressed in order to solve sleep problems.

To illustrate, sexual problems are a cause as well as a reflection of bedroom problems that need to be addressed, not avoided. Avoiding sexual problems will create only more stress that causes insomnia. Family problems, such as confrontations with teenagers, may cause heated arguments and conflicts. Reduce stress at home with the techniques of good parenting. Money problems may also generate financial stress. All in all, everyday life problems have to be taken care of before sleep problems can be resolved.

Meanwhile, as you take care of your emotional and mental problems, also use natural herbs to alleviate your sleep problems. If you experience occasional sleepless nights, use certain roots, flowers, and leaves of plants to cope with sleep problems.

Herbal Pillow

Make your own tiny herbal pillow stuffed with herbs (a tablespoonful of chamomile, hops, lavender, mugwort, and rose). Place your hand-made pillow on top of your pillow, close to your nose so that you can inhale the herbs while you sleep. After a while, you may need to reactivate the herbs inside your tiny pillow. You can do it by sprinkling any odorless grain alcohol on the pillow and let it dry. A herbal pillow can last a year.

Herbal Tea

Drink a cup of chamomile herbal tea before going to bed. Chamomile soothes your stomach. Indigestion is one the causes of insomnia.

To make chamomile tea, use 1 rounded teaspoon of chamomile herb in 1 cup of boiling water. Cover it and let the herb steep for 10 minutes. Pour the tea through a tea strainer and drink immediately.

Insomnia Herbs

There are many natural insomnia herbs. If you have trouble falling asleep at night or if you wake up too early in the morning and cannot fall back to sleep, try Saint-John's-wort. Another natural herb effective in overcoming insomnia is valerian, which is most effective as a tincture. Take 1 teaspoon of tincture 1 hour before bedtime. 

In addition to solving your life problems that are the underlying causes of emotional and mental distress, use natural herbs to heal insomnia to promote holistic health and wellness. Never use sleep medications because they do not work over the long haul.

ALCHEMY OF HERBS

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, August 10, 2020

Depression and the Mind


“It stands to the everlasting credit of science that by acting on the human mind it has overcome man’s insecurity before himself and nature.” Albert Einstein
             
Depression is all about the mind—the "thinking" mind; more specifically, how the mind functions. The human mind plays a pivotal role in depression: it could be the underlying “cause” of many problems related to depression; on the other hand, it could also be the "antidote" of depression. That is to say, the human mind is a double-edged sword: it could create many “problems” for depression, as well as provide many “solutions” to depression. 
The thinking mind plays several major roles in your life, especially in relation to depression.
Life is about experiences, which are composed of thoughts of those experiences by the human mind. According to James Allen, the author of As A Man Thinketh, men are “makers of themselves” and the human mind is the “master-weaver, by both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance.” Accordingly, you may have become who you and what you are by way of your thinking mind over the years; in short, you are the sum of your own thoughts. Therefore, your thinking mind plays a pivotal role in your life.
First and foremost, you must fully understand the major roles of your mind in your everyday life and living, and how it may work for you or against you with respect to your depression.

Perceptions and Realities

“Everything you perceive, externally, is the manifestation of some internal part of you. If it was not, it would not be present in your perceived reality.” Tony Warrick

Your mind perceives all your life experiences through your five senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting. To most people, seeing is the most important perception; however, what they see may not be the absolute reality, because their visual perceptions may be conditioned by what they see, and distorted by many other factors during the processing of their perceptions. Remember, it is the intuition of your soul that really perceives your reality. The wise have known for a long time that what we know through our eyes are not the same as the intuition of the soul. If that is the case, sadly, most people rely on what they see, thinking that "seeing is believing," and thus lose themselves in external things.
As an illustration, in 1997, Richard Alexander from Indiana was convicted as a serial rapist because one of the victims and her fiancĂ© insisted that he was the perpetrator based on what they saw with their own eyes. However, the convicted man was exonerated and released in 2001 based on new DNA science and other forensic evidence. Experts explained that a traumatic emotional experience, such as a rape, could “distort” the perception of an individual.
The truth is that your brain is composed of grey matters and neurons or nerve cells that transmit information and messages; they are the building blocks of your brain for the processing of all your perceptions. Neurons are responsible for all your behaviors in the form of perceptions, which trigger a mental process that results in an action or an emotion.
If the process becomes instinctive or habitual, then the output in the form of an action or emotion is also automatic and predictable. That is how attitudes and habits are formed, including the fight-or-flight response to any dangerous situation. This automatic or spontaneous mental processing is often not “by choice.” The fact of the matter is that this “learned” mental processing is responsible for the way you think and act, for your beliefs and emotions, for you attitudes and prejudices, as well as for your decisions or indecisions—in other words, every aspect of your life experiences.
Gradually and accumulatively, all your life experiences with their own respective messages—the pleasant as well as the unpleasant, the positive as well as the negative—are all stored at the back of your subconscious mind in the form of data and memories. Over the long haul, millions and billions of such experiences and messages have become the raw materials with which you subconsciously weave the fabrics of your life, making you who and what you have now become—or so you think. In other words, they have now become your so-called “realities.”
Unfortunately, these so-called “realities” may also make you become depressed.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, August 9, 2020

The TAO Wisdom


The TAO is the absolute truth that can withstand time; what was true in the past is also true today. To fathom the TAO, you must begin with your own mind, which controls your thinking process and hence creating your own thoughts of thinking.
The TAO begins with having an empty mind, which is more than just “thinking out of the box”: it is also reverse thinking to create your own box of thinking. An empty mindset originated from Lao Tzu:

“An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us let go.
Being in the world and not of the world, we attain heavenly grace.
With heavenly grace, we become pure and selfless.
And everything settles into its own perfect place.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 3) 

Without an empty mind, an individual may think that he or she is already knowledgeable, and therefore lacks the desire to seek more knowledge by asking more questions, and thus ending up being less knowledgeable.
Reverse thinking is turning your mind around: instead of accepting or following what your mind says, you think in the opposite direction by asking self-probing questions of how and why your mind has come to give you that thought of thinking in the first place.
Simplicity is the first step toward detachment, which holds the key to unlocking the door to an empty mind with reverse thinking. Live a simple lifestyle, deleting all the trimmings of life and living that may block and obstruct your thinking mind. Letting go of everything that you may erroneously believe are important to you in your life is reverse thinking.

“Simplicity is clarity.
It is a blessing to learn from those
with humble simplicity.
Those with an empty mind
will learn how to find the Way.
The Way reveals the secrets of the universe:
the mysteries of the realm of creation;
the manifestations of all things created.
The essence of the Way is to show us
how to live in fullness and return to our origin.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 65)

Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Emotions and Happiness

Your mind is the generator of your emotions because it perceives, interprets, generalizes your thoughts, which then become your assumptions that affect how you act or react in the physical world. Your mind affects your body; as a matter of fact, there is a close connection between the body and the mind.     

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), human emotions are the major underlying causes of disease because Chinese physicians believe that certain body organs are related to emotional activities; for example, the heart is related to joy, the liver to anger, the spleen to obsessive thoughts, the lungs to anxiety, and the kidneys to fear. Therefore, excessive emotions disrupt the free flow of qi, the life-giving energy that flows through the body, and thus causing imbalance and disharmony that may lead to disease and disorder.   

In addition, human behaviors—often a byproduct of human emotions—affect the mind, just as emotions of the mind affect the body. According to a study at Ohio State University in 2003, physical behavior, such as enhanced body language of nodding in agreement or shaking head in disagreement, may significantly affect how we think without our knowing it. According to that study, even posture, such as sitting up straight, may be conducive to remembering positive memories or thinking positively, because posture changes the production of human hormones.   

The interconnection between the body and the mind is further evidenced by the indisputable notion that a healthy heart produces a healthy brain by pumping sufficient oxygen and nutrients to nourish the brain through its bloodstream.   

As If Everything Is A Miracle   

This 125-page book is about how to live your life as if everything is a miracle, instead of as if nothing is a miracle. To do just that, you need wisdom to "rethink" your mind, which may not be telling you the whole truth about your thoughts and life experiences; you need wisdom to "renew" your body, which lives in a toxic physical environment; you need spiritual wisdom to "reconnect" your soul, which is the essence of your spirituality. Most importantly, you need wisdom to "realign" your whole being because the body, the mind, and the soul are all interconnected and interdependent on one another for your well-being to live your life as if everything is a miracle. Your mind is the roadmap and your soul is the compass; without them, your body is going nowhere, and you will live your life as if nothing is a miracle.   

With enlightenment, you will become a better, happier, and healthier you. With enlightenment, you will live a stress-fee life. Learn how to overcome your stress by letting go your ego-self. No Ego No Stress!  

Stephen Lau 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, August 7, 2020

Is Natural Healing A Myth?

Is natural healing a myth or a reality? It’s all up to you to decide.

Natural healing is holistic healing. It is a process by which a person’s health is restored in the most natural way without the use of conventional medicine throughout the healing process. The human body is blessed with divine gifts in the form of natural resources that enable not only the enhancement of health but also the freedom from any type of illness.

Natural healing is effective because it uses the power of the mind through affirmation and visualization, meditation, the goodness of nature through natural herbs and healthful foods, and the energy of your body through hand massage, yoga, and acupuncture to bring about healing of the body, the mind, and the soul. In order to prevent any future relapse and to guarantee long-term cure, the healing has to be complete and wholesome. In addition, in natural healing, there is no need to take any form of chemicals or to undergo any invasive procedure, which may not only produce negative side effects but also interrupt with the natural healing process.

Natural healing has long proven to be a very good alternative to the traditional way of healing practiced by medical doctors. As a matter of fact, many natural healing clinics have sprung up across the United States. People are using natural healing techniques more than anything else mainly because they are highly effective with minimal or zero side effects, and they are less expensive than treatments of conventional medicine.

Be a natural healer of your own disease.

First of all, you must know the difference between healing and treatment: treatment originates from the outside, whereas healing comes from within; treatment aims at removing symptoms of disease, while healing tackles the source of disease.

Next, natural healing begins with the mind first. Your mind controls your body, and everything you do and think. Therefore, to heal, your mind must express the intention to heal, without which there is no cure or healing. Your intention to heal is then manifested in focus, which directs your mind towards the goal to heal. To reach that goal, you need resources; that is, you must empower yourself with knowledge so that you may know how to heal yourself. Knowledge is power: it may establish a connection to your true self, and thereby instrumental in allowing you to make the right health decisions and to live your life in a lifestyle in accordance with your higher purpose. Through the many facets of mind power, such as affirmation, visualization, and meditation, your mind begins its healing process. Healing begins with the mind, and mind healing is always mind over matter. Natural healing is always slow: it does not happen overnight. You need to set your goals, and make your commitment, which is your mental responsibility. Living is a challenge, and so is healing. During the healing process you may have to face different challenges before you can overcome the illness.

Natural healing is a miracle by itself. Bu you have to believe in it first, then empower your mind with knowledge to prepare your body for the natural healing process. With the help of your soul, you can initiate natural healing as if everything is a miracle. 

Copyright© by Stephen Lau